Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Low Tuck Kwong Daughter Elaine Low Donates $1M to Japan

Low Tuck Kwong Daughter Elaine Low Donates $1M to Japan

SINGAPORE -( She appeared unprepared for the media's presence and flash of cameras as she walked into the meeting room at the Japanese Embassy.

In the end, Ms Elaine Low, 24, left most of the talking to her father for what is the biggest single donation given to the quake and tsunami victims in Japan.

Ms Low, who handed a S$1 million cheque to Japanese officials yesterday, said: "We want to offer our help to them."

The daughter of mining magnate Low Tuck Kwong said the idea came to her last weekend. "But during that time, the Japanese Association wasn't linked up with the Red Cross Society yet. So we made a phone call (on Monday) to the embassy and got it arranged after that."

Mr Low, 63, said his daughter made the donation with her own money.

Mr Low is the president commissioner of integrated coal producer PT Bayan Resources, which supplies coal to Japanese power plants - including one in Tohoku in northern Japan - and steel mills.

Mr Low said his son travels "quite often" to Japan for business.

Mr Low was Singaporean but became an Indonesian citizen in 1996 and is now a permanent resident here.

Last year, Forbes ranked him as the seventh-richest man in Indonesia, with an estimated net worth of US$2.6 billion (S$3.3 billion).

Ms Low is a Singaporean and heads business development at PT Bayan Resources.

Father and daughter are also board members of Singapore HealthPartners, the group developing an integrated healthcare and hospitality complex at Farrer Park.

They have made donations of between S$50,000 and S$200,000 in humanitarian aid to disasters in China and Indonesia.

Ms Low's donation will first go to the Red Cross, said Mr Kazuo Shibata, president of the Japanese Association, Singapore.

The Singapore Red Cross has received S$235,000 in the two days since it began making collections.

Japanese Ambassador to Singapore Yoichi Suzuki said the priority is to save as many lives as possible and that they are assessing the damage and the needs of those affected.

"Once we have a better assessment of where the needs are, we will consult with the local municipalities to distribute the money according to the needs of the affected people," he said.

Mr Suzuki said the donation will boost the morale of the quake victims in Japan.

He added that Singapore is among countries that have "expressed the strongest wish to help". The Singapore Government has donated S$500,000.

Asked what message they had for the Japanese people, Mr Low said: "Ganbatte ("press on" in Japanese)."

Ms Low's message was equally short. "Stay united," she said. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SARA GROSSE


1 comment:

  1. MOVED by the news about Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster, Singaporean Elaine Low, 24, decided she wanted to help. On Wednesday, she handed a cheque for $1 million to Japanese Ambassador to Singapore Yoichi Suzuki.